“The alliance between AEP, Walmart and ECOtality exemplifies the collaboration needed to develop charging solutions that meet the needs of utilities and enhances the consumer experience,” said Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality. “The intelligence, real-time communications and network controls of our Blink chargers are an ideal fit with the gridSMART initiative. ECOtality is excited to work with Walmart and AEP to enhance public awareness of EV charging and encourage cleaner transportation.”
As one of the United States’ largest generators of electricity, AEP and AEP Ohio are taking a holistic approach to the development of a smart distribution grid through the company’s gridSMART® initiative, which is designed to provide customers greater energy control and improve electric distribution service and performance. AEP Ohio has incorporated various smart grid devices, products and technologies, including electric vehicles, into the project to test their impact on the utility grid.
“Educating the public about and promoting electric vehicles as a mode of transportation via these charging stations is a milestone for AEP Ohio,” said Robert Powers, president of AEP Utilities. “Incorporating electric vehicles as part of our gridSMART® Demonstration Project in northeast central Ohio helps us determine their impact on our electric grid and shows their viability within the retail market.”
ECOtality’s Blink line of EV charging stations provide intelligent, user-friendly features that intuitively and safely charge electric vehicles. The Blink Pedestal chargers installed at 3900 Morse Road in Columbus are Level 2 (240 VAC) chargers that feature interactive color touch screens and real-time communication capabilities that can integrate with various smart grid and energy management programs.
The Blink Network of charging stations provides EV drivers the freedom to travel wherever they choose and charge at commercial locations conveniently identified along the way. EV drivers will be able to locate charging stations through the Blink mobile application, and can charge at any Blink station through a variety of options including interoperable RFID cards or fobs, smartphone applications and mobile phone and credit card based payment options. Blink Network members will enjoy even greater advantages, such as discounted charging rates, reservation systems and enhanced Blink Network capabilities.
ECOtality, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECTY), headquartered in San Francisco, California, is a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies. Through innovation, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, ECOtality accelerates the market applicability of advanced electric technologies to replace carbon-based fuels.
AEP Ohio provides electricity to nearly 1.5 million customers of major AEP subsidiaries Columbus Southern Power Company and Ohio Power Company in Ohio, and Wheeling Power Company in the northern panhandle of West Virginia. AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power.